Focus On; Pat Rice

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Patrick James Rice, a Northern Irish former footballer, he made over 500 appearances for Arsenal, winning the Double, and later made a hundred more appearances for Watford. He also won 49 caps for Northern Ireland. After retirement from playing professionally he was at the helm of Arsenal’s Academy teams, then served as assistant manager of Arsenal, a position he held since the appointment of Arsène Wenger in 1996, and helped the club to two more Doubles, amongst other silverware, in that time. He announced his retirement from the post on 10 May 2012.

Born in Belfast, Rice grew up in London where he attended Gifford Street Primary School as a young boy. He later on worked at a greengrocers on Gillespie Road which is the street Highbury Stadium is upon. Veering toward the sport of football, Rice joined Arsenal as an apprentice in 1964. He turned professional in 1966 and worked his way up as a defender through the club’s youth and reserve teams. Rice thereafter made his first-team debut in the League Cup against Burnley on 5 December 1967, a match that Arsenal won 2–1.

Playing in particular as a right back, Rice was initially a bit-part player, making only 16 appearances in his first three seasons at Arsenal. He also went on to miss out on Arsenal’s 1969–70 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup win over RSC Anderlecht. However, during this time he won his first cap for Northern Ireland, against Israel on 10 September 1968, while still largely a reserve player. Peter Storey was Arsenal’s first choice right back, but he was soon moved into central midfield at the start of the 1970–71 season. With this being so, Rice took his place and was a near-ever present figure in the side of that season, as Arsenal won the League and FA Cup Double. Rice remained first-choice right back for the club as he played in the 1972 FA Cup Final as well. He was also a regular injury free presence for three full seasons being 1971–72, 1975–76 & 1976–77. Of the Double-winning side, he was the one who remained at the club the longest, taking up the role as club captain in 1977. As captain, Rice had the honour of lifting the FA Cup after Arsenal beat Manchester United in 1979, as well as losing two finals in 1978 and 1980. He is one of only 3 Arsenal players to have played in five FA Cup Finals (1970–71, 1971–72, 1977–78, 1978–79, 1979–80), the other two being David Seaman and Ray Parlour. He also led Arsenal to the 1980 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup Final, which Arsenal lost on penalties to Valencia.

Rice continued to play for Northern Ireland in this time, amassing 49 caps in an eleven-year career, which ended with his final international game against England on 17 October 1979, which ended in a 5–1 defeat. Rice finally left Arsenal in 1980 at the age of 31, by which time he had played 528 games in total for the club.

He moved to Graham Taylor’s Watford where he helped the club as captain gain promotion to the First Division in 1981–82. Rice scored in Watford’s first game in the top flight in 1982–83 against Everton before retiring from playing in 1984. In his final season he helped Watford reach the 1984 FA Cup Final. After Wilf Rostron was suspended for the game Rice was considered to replace him but was ultimately left out of the squad.[4] In all the defender played a total of 137 times for the Hornets.


  • Full Name: Patrick James Rice
  • Position: Defender
  • Date of Birth: 17.03.1949
  • Birthplace: Belfast
  • Nation: N Ireland
  • Club Career: Arsenal
    • Period: 1967-1980
    • League Games, 397
    • League Goals, 12
  • Previous Club: –
    • Transfer Fee: –
  • Facts / Photo / Video

Focus On; Steve Whitworth

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Steve Whitworth was born in Coalville, Leicestershire. He began his career with his local club, Leicester City, with whom he made his debut as an 18-year-old in a 4–0 win against Bristol City on 2 September 1970. Predominantly a right back, he spent nine seasons as a first-team regular with Leicester before being sold to Sunderland in March 1979 for a fee of £120,000. In his first season for Leicester, Whitworth was a member of the team that won the Football League Second Division, whereafter Leicester remained in the top flight until 1978. Whitworth scored the goal which won the Charity Shield for Leicester in 1971, a year in which the Second Division champions were invited to play the FA Cup runners-up, Liverpool, owing to the European commitments of Arsenal, who had done the Double during the previous season.

Whitworth helped Sunderland to promotion from the Second Division in his second season with the club, 1979–80, the team finishing second behind his former club Leicester City. In total Whitworth spent two-and-a-half years with Sunderland before moving to Bolton Wanderers in October 1981. He spent two seasons with Bolton, but left the club in the summer of 1983 following Bolton’s relegation to the Third Division. He spent two seasons with Mansfield Town before joining Conference National club Barnet, where he was appointed assistant manager to Barry Fry during his second season with the club.

Steve Whitworth was capped six times, scoring once, for England under-23.[10] Following Don Revie’s decision to drop Emlyn Hughes in 1975, Whitworth was given the opportunity to fill the right-back role for the senior England team, which had become something of a problem position. Whitworth made his debut in a 2–0 friendly win against West Germany on 12 March 1975, and went on to start six of England’s next eight games. Whitworth’s last international appearance came in a 1–1 draw against Portugal in a European Championship qualifying match on 19 November 1975. Revie gave international debuts to three young right backs during 1976, Trevor Cherry, Dave Clement and Phil Neal, and Whitworth was never recalled to the England squad.


  • Full Name: Stephen Whitworth
  • Position: Defender
  • Date of Birth: 20.03.1952
  • Birthplace: Coalville
  • Nation: England
    • Full Caps: 7
  • Major League Career
    • 1970-79, Leicester City (353/0)
    • 1979-81, Sunderland (83/0)
    • 1981-83, Bolton Wanderers (67/0)
    • 1983-85, Mansfield Town (80/2)
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Transfer Talk, Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich

Manchester United are front runners in the chase for England international Jadon Sancho and are desperate to add quality to their squad. OGS will do what it takes to try to bring the team back in contention for titles.

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Leicester City are again linked with Celtic defender Christopher Ajer. The Norwegian international has drawn attention to clubs in major leagues as he makes good performances in all competitions.

Thomas Muller looks set for a Bayern Munich exit, MLS and China could be options to consider, but also a chance to shine in Serie A or Primera could be tempting. Muller at his best is a player that could go into almost all teams first 11.

Ivan Rakitic looks certain to leave Barcelona sooner rather than later, and the player that previously was linked with Manchester United, is open to offers from other clubs as well, interesting to see were Rakitic will end up.

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Kai Havertz and Thomas Muller are both said to be in the eye of OGS and Manchester United as he is ready to “break the bank” to get the quality needed to secure a top four spot at Old Trafford for future seasons.

Luke Matheson is a player that many has on their radar. The teenage Rochdale wonder is one that easily could end up at either Manchester City or Manchester United as both clubs are prepare to pay a fee of £10million, which would be a dream for the little club and could make it possible to build a team cabable of a League Championship push.

Mezut Ozil is not finished at Arsenal, and the elegant midfielder is ready to dig in and fight for a future, with clubs in MLS looking on as the progress appear, New York City and Los Angeles Galaxy could both be eager to get in to a bidding round.

Wayne Rooney’s son Kai could be offered a chance to join the Manchester City academy when the family returns to UK, interesting to see the progress and follow the young man as he progress in English football.

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Manchester United looks reluctant to a move for Gareth Bale. Bale is not a player to add to a squad at Old Trafford with a injury record that makes most of clubs seeing the Wales ace as a risk for such as huge investment.

Glen Kamara could soon be on his way to Premier League with especially Brighton & Hove Albion looking on his progress at Rangers. The Finland international is a former Arsenal youth academy player.

Tottenham are said to be in pool position to sign Norwich youngster Max Aarons with a potential fee to be used wisely on maybe one or two players to bolster a squad looking a bit thin at the moment.

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Leeds United has, despite not being able to get back up in the PL, nursed forward a lot of talent and a player to be on his way at Elland Road is Kalvin Phillips. Manchester United is said to be following the player closely.

Bayern Munich is said to be watching Gabriel Jesus. A move away from Man City could be on, if the demand of £100million is met and the player is eager and ready to commit to such as switch.

The future of Ralph Hassenhutl looks uncertain after that massive 9-0 defeat at home to Leicester City. The German came in early last season and the folks on the board down south looks to be eager to pull the trigger on the German.

Athletic Bilbao central defender Unai Nunez could be joining Bayern Munich in January, a release clause of £30million is the only thing that could block a move.

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